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absolve

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verb ab·solve \əb-ˈzälv, -ˈsälv, -ˈzȯlv, -ˈsȯlv also without l\

Simple Definition of absolve

  • : to make (someone) free from guilt, responsibility, etc.

  • : to give forgiveness to (someone who has sinned) or for (a sin)

Full Definition of absolve

ab·solvedab·solv·ing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to set free from an obligation or the consequences of guilt

  3. 2 :  to remit (a sin) by absolution

ab·solv·er noun

Examples of absolve

  1. <no amount of remorse will absolve shoplifters who are caught, and all cases will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law>



Origin of absolve

Middle English, from Latin absolvere, from ab- + solvere to loosen — more at solve


First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of absolve

exculpate, absolve, exonerate, acquit, vindicate mean to free from a charge. exculpate implies a clearing from blame or fault often in a matter of small importance <exculpating himself from the charge of overenthusiasm>. absolve implies a release either from an obligation that binds the conscience or from the consequences of disobeying the law or committing a sin <cannot be absolved of blame>. exonerate implies a complete clearance from an accusation or charge and from any attendant suspicion of blame or guilt <exonerated by the investigation>. acquit implies a formal decision in one's favor with respect to a definite charge <voted to acquit the defendant>. vindicate may refer to things as well as persons that have been subjected to critical attack or imputation of guilt, weakness, or folly, and implies a clearing effected by proving the unfairness of such criticism or blame <her judgment was vindicated>.

Rhymes with absolve



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WORD OF THE DAY

February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

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